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Association Of Glycemic Indices (Hyperglycemia, Glucose Variability, And Hypoglycemia) With Oxidative Stress And Diabetic Complications

Eleftheria Papachristoforou, Vaia Lambadiari, Eirini Maratou, Konstantinos Makrilakis

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Oxidative stress (OS) is defined as a disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance of the cell, in favor of the former, which results in the antioxidant capacity of the cell to be overpowered. Excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is very harmful to cell constituents, especially proteins, lipids, and DNA, thus causing damage to the cell. Oxidative stress has been associated with a variety of pathologic conditions, including diabetes mellitus (DM), cancer, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, ischemia/reperfusion injury, obstructive sleep apnea, and accelerated aging. Regarding DM specifically, previous experimental and clinical studies have pointed to the fact that oxidative stress probably plays a major role in the pathogenesis and development of diabetic complications. It is postulated that hyperglycemia induces free radicals and impairs endogenous antioxidant defense systems through several different mechanisms. In particular, hyperglycemia promotes the creation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), the activation of protein kinase C (PKC), and the hyperactivity of hexosamine and sorbitol pathways, leading to the development of insulin resistance, impaired insulin secretion, and endothelial dysfunction, by inducing excessive ROS production and OS. Furthermore, glucose variability has been associated with OS as well, and recent evidence suggests that also hypoglycemia may be playing an important role in favoring diabetic vascular complications through OS, inflammation, prothrombotic events, and endothelial dysfunction. The association of these diabetic parameters (i.e., hyperglycemia, glucose variability, and hypoglycemia) with oxidative stress will be reviewed here.